The Playboy Club: What Went Wrong

It took years for The Playboy Club to hop into primetime. It took NBC three weeks to kill it.

Quick cancellations are nothing new in TV, but the rapid demise of The Playboy Club might serve as a cautionary tale for programmers as they depend more on familiar franchises and icons to attract distracted viewers.

With so much competition for the attention of viewers, network execs are looking for anything that might give them an edge in marketing and awareness — which is why so many remakes with familiar titles are hitting the air. The Playboy Club wasn't a reboot of an old show, but rather an original series looking to leverage a popular global brand.

NBC liked that the name "Playboy" would at least cut through the clutter of fall TV's slew of new series launches. "Many programmers would look at it and say, 'Here's a huge brand that should be able to...


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